If I can’t be a tree

This fallen tree rests alongside the Stoke Brook in Sherbourne Brake, a small wood close to my home. I noticed the tree several months ago, although it must have been lying there for several years. I love walking, but coronavirus restrictions forced me to focus my walks on paths closer to home – places I could reach without using my car.  The unusual growth pattern must have been noticeable during previous seasons, when I was walking elsewhere. I was missing a lesson from nature.

This tree has attitude. It won’t let disaster defeat it. Whatever storm blew it down couldn’t suppress its will to survive.  It said, If I can’t be a tree any more, then I’ll be a forest!  And now this row of new trees is reaching upwards to fulfil the original tree’s ambitions.

I publish this picture as a simple encouragement from nature. The coronavirus pandemic has thrown nations off-course. The last year has driven people to the edge of despair, and increased anxiety levels in others who are still holding up – just.  Many people have witnessed death, and many have seen friends or acquaintances come close to death.  Everyone’s life has been in some way disrupted. But life goes on, and where there’s life there’s hope.  Let’s learn from the tree.

For there is hope of a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that the tender branch thereof will not cease.” (Job 14:7)

© Derrick Phillips 2021

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